Pom and Kong – future leaders of Thailand

Pom

Pom

Kong

Kong

How long have you studied at the Mechai Patana School for?

– Kong has been at the MPS for fives years and remembers Goldfish PLC, a Regent’s School business and social enterprise group that visited the school a few years back.

– Pom has been at the school for two years.  They are both in Grade 11.

The natural environment

The natural environment

Why did you come to MPS?

Pom – My mother told me about the school and when I came to visit I liked the natural feel to the school and how the students were learning.

Kong – I liked the school environment and the fact that the school focused on project based learning and gave the students many different experiences to learn from.

Mechai Patana students who have studied at Regents over the last three years

Mechai Patana students who have studied at Regents over the last three years

What is your favourite thing about MPS?

Kong – opportunities, e.g. the one term exchange with Regents School in Pattaya.

Pom – Learning to play the ukulele and having a ukulele band at the school, I like to learn about music and love playing it.

What do you want to study at university and what career would you like to follow in the future?

Pom – I would like to study languages and work as a guide, possibly have my own business for travellers.

Kong – I would like to be a linguist and have my own translation business.

Another one of those messages

Another one of those messages

How does the MPS help the students become global citizens?

Pom – The school focuses a lot on business and social enterprise and we learn how to give back to our communities.  We are also expected to be tour guides to visitors who come to the school and to think outside the box.

Kong – The school has taught me to be sharing and caring.

A future MPS student and global citizen?

A future MPS student and global citizen?

If you were a teacher what would you say is the most important thing about teaching young people?

Pom – It is important to teach young people how to help themselves and how to help others.  Most teachers in Thailand only teach about the subject.  At MPS we learn how to help ourselves and especially how to help others.

Kong – To teach the young people how to be a good person and how to share with each other and to care for each other.

Khop khun krup Pom and Kong.

 

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A Centre for Lifelong Learning and Community Partnership

We are here!

We are here!

The first thing that strikes you when arriving at the Mechai Bamboo School is the setting; a lush campus full of greenery, bridges over waterways, bamboo buildings and lines of mango trees.  On entering the front of the school you are immediately welcomed by the Friendship Bridge – a large bamboo and concrete walkway that transcends a large pool and takes you into the heart of the school.  My youngest, who loves bridges and is therefore in his element, bounced across the bridge and shouted “rabbits!” being the first to spot the little island of rabbits from the middle of the bridge.  There are so many things to find and discover around this school (Khun Mechai likes his thought provoking messages for example) that it is an important reminder of being mindful and taking in your environment at all times.  The Bamboo School is truly a centre for lifelong learning and a hub for community development and education; you can see and feel it everywhere you walk – what an environment to learn in everyday.

"Rabbits!" seen from the Friendship Bridge

“Rabbits!” seen from the Friendship Bridge

It was a pleasure to see the Mechai Patana students again, especially those that I have had the pleasure to meet and work with over the last three years.  The students are always polite and pleased to see you and they quickly welcomed us to their school and home.  New and Pom showed us to our rooms for the next 3 days and it was great to catch up with them both and find out how their studies are going.  New is hoping to go to Khon Koen University at the end of next year and study to be a linguist.  Her English is definitely a lot better than my Thai!  It was also great to see Kong again and to be introduced by him at dinner time to all the students at the school.

Pom and New show us around

Pom and New show us around

Something that struck us was the fact that the teachers were not really present, I don’t mean that they had done a runner as I am sure they are very busy, but it was suddenly very apparent that the senior students were being very attentive to us and making sure everything happened smoothly.  They organised dinner and evening prayers and then New addressed all 130 students regarding a discipline matter, apparently about listening to music only in their dorms.  Although I did not really understand what she was saying it was obvious that she had the full attention of every student and that she was to be taken very seriously.  When she had finished speaking there was a spontaneous round of applause from the rest of the students.

One of those little messages you will find

One of those little messages you will find

I said to my own kids as we walked back to our room after the evening assembly if they had noticed who was looking after us and leading all the activities… I was glad that they responded, “the students.”  I also pointed out that we had not seen one student on an iPhone or mobile device since we had been at the school, which was also impressive and a powerful message.  I like the fact that every student was connected in the moment and not disconnected due to an appliance which you see all the time today – at restaurants, on public transport, in meetings, in the cinema, at school, etc.  I am even more determined that we make the most of our time visiting this unique learning environment and connect as much as possible with our hosts, the community and the opportunities that present themselves to us.